UB executive reveals his feminine side

The Diary has discovered that United Biscuits group chief executive Eric Nicoli has been harbouring a dark secret. One he almost shared with the likes of Marion Morrison (John Wayne) and Shirley Crabtree (the wrestler Big Daddy).

Nicoli’s parents almost called him Gladys.

Nicoli’s Italian father was captured during World War Two and sent, as a prisoner of war, to work on a farm in Norfolk. Nicoli senior brought his wife to Norfolk when he was offered a job at the end of the war and Nicoli junior was duly born down on the farm.

The farmer in question welcomed the new Nicoli to the fold but, worried that the babe would be given an unpronounceable Italian name, offered “Eric” as a steady English alternative.

“It could have been a lot worse – the farmer and his wife were called Sam and Gladys,” says Nicoli.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here